[OPE-L:4448] Re: Re: Grossman and possible sand castles

From: Paul Zarembka (zarembka@ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU)
Date: Sun Nov 05 2000 - 08:25:11 EST


I was suggesting that you (or others who wish to rely on it) may wind up
finding Grossman's work a sand castle, more so than the bourgeois order
which hasn't done badly for itself in its persistence well beyond what
Marx would have suspected.

Your sentence "Luxemburg's heroic theoretical effort failed" mirrors
Howard and King "her theory was wrong."   This is the problem. 
Luxemburg's *Accumulation of Capital* is almost 450 pages of dense theory
plus she wrote a long *Anti-critique*.  This is a MAJOR piece of work and,
understandably, few have the energy to really deal with it line by line. 
In fact, if we could just write "she failed", relying on a third party to
do the job on her (Grossman, for example) we do simplify our theoretical
lives.  I am not proud of the fact that it took me personally a quarter of
a century after I first became interested in accumulation of capital,
along with the luxury of sabbaticcal year of research, to finally struggle
with her work.

Since I brought up Howard and King, I note they describe Luxemburg at the
turn of the century as "young, aggressive and very ambitious" (p.78).  Is
there something special about being a woman?  Neither Bernstein, Kautsky,
nor Lenin are so described, nor do others get personality typing. 
Luxemburg's criticism of Bernstein, for Howard and King, is a "diatribe"
(p. 80), but not Lenin's on Kautsky during WW1.   After summarizing
Bauer's answer to Luxemburg's *Accumulation*, they claim her work "an easy
target" (p. 120).  And Luxemburg's *Anti-Critique* is "distinctly
ill-tempered".  But Bukharin's (1924) style of rebutting her is
unchallenged (p. 114).

So you get an idea of what we are dealing with when we wish to turn around
the weight of a century condemning her.  Grossman was part of an effective
machine to break Luxemburg's sword drawn against the bourgeoies order and
both Stalinism (an accomplice to her theoretical murder) and socialism
democracy (an accomplice to her personal murder) had good reasons for
doing so.  It was one of many factors preserving the bourgeois order you
suggest is a sand castle.

Paul Z.

******************** http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/PZarembka

Rakesh Narpat Bhandari <rakeshb@Stanford.EDU> said, on 11/04/00:

>the apparently stable and resilient bourgeois order is a sand castle. 
>The ones who have understood theoretically why this is so are  Grossman,
>Blake and Mattick Sr. Luxemburg's heroic theoretical effort  failed. 
>Grossmann however drew the wrong political implications from  this
>breakthrough reconstruction of Marx's work. Mattick avers this  case in
>Anti Bolshevik Communism. I look forward to Rick Kuhn's work  on the
>political trajectory of Grossman, but in all honesty, I  understand him
>to have been rejected by  Stalinists and the Frankfurt  School
>intellectuals alike. But Rick will tell the true story, I 

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